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Paula-Living Kidney Donor

My sister, Laurie, was diagnosed with a lupus-like condition which caused her kidneys to deteriorate. She was 31 years old. Laurie’s doctors mentioned that sometime in her life, sooner than later, she would need a kidney transplant. I eagerly volunteered to donate my kidney. Not only was Laurie my sister, she was my best friend. The decision was an easy one for me. Whatever pain or inconvenience I would experience from donation would be temporary. Laurie’s situation, however, was permanent and eventually fatal without a kidney transplant.

When I went through the donor testing process, I was found to be a perfect match. I was certain from the minute

 we were told Laurie needed a transplant, that I would be the one to donate to her. Organ donation was something I knew about since I was in grade school. There was a gentlemen in my community who received a heart after waiting several years. Through him, I saw firsthand the positive effects of donation. I was so happy to be able to help my sister in the same way. I honestly had no fear. We marched forward with the transplant and everything turned out beautifully. Our advisers and surgeons were wonderful, as was the entire process. Within minutes of Laurie receiving her new kidney, her health started to improve. What an amazing gift to be able to give another human being.

I like to share my experience with others and raise awareness of organ donation. There are so many people waiting on organs. Donors can extend the life of a loved one or a complete stranger in need. If I had another kidney to spare, I would do it all again. I urge everyone to join the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry and give the gift of life.